The SPARC is a high-performance cathodoluminescence detection system that provides users with exceptional ease-of-use, as well as the ability to be retrofitted onto any scanning electron microscope (SEM). The sensitivity and user-friendly characteristics of the SPARC are sure to benefit any cathodoluminescence application.
The SPARC is equipped with a unique high-precision mirror stage that allows for different areas of research, such as electron beam-induced nanophotonics, to also benefit from the use of this instrument.
Another notable component that sets the SPARC apart from other cathodoluminescence detectors is its angle-resolved mode. As an ideal system for the optimal collection and detection of cathodoluminescence emission, the SPARC is capable of rapidly providing highly sensitive material characterization data at the nanoscale.
Currently, the SPARC is being used in optics, material science and geology research purposes around the world.
The SPARC Compact
As a new member of the SPARC family, the SPARC Compact is a small-scale version of the SPARC cathodoluminescence system that better assists researchers with specific needs. In particular, geology and materials science researchers requiring intensity measurements that is achieved by a photomultiplier tube can benefit from utilizing the SPARC Compact.
High End Research
The SPARC is an ideal tool for analyzing spectroscopic data at the nanoscale. Since the SPARC can be easily integrated with an SEM, users can easily compare cathodoluminescence imaging with data acquired from various SEM detection systems, such as EBSD, EBIC and BSD. As a result, users can achieve full in-situ characterization of their sample.
A vacuum port is used to mount the hardware in a way that is minimally invasive for the SEM. This process, which requires less than five minutes to achieve, successfully returns the SEM to its full original configuration.
Automated Alignment Procedure
The automated alignment feature is a unique and precise aspect of the SPARC that supports the user-friendly nature of this system. Through the use of an aluminum paraboloid collection mirror that has an ultraflat surface, photon yield is enhanced to produce the highest quality of angle-resolved imaging.
Motorized Mirror Stage
The SPARC’s mirror is mounted onto a motorized high-precision stage that ensures that reproducible alignment is maintained between experiments. As a result, all results can reliably be quantitatively compared to other measurements.
Full Experimental Freedom
The modular nature of the SPARC, combined with its paired open-source software, provides users with complete experimental freedom. This subsequently guarantees a future-proof setup that is easy to upgrade to all cathodoluminescence imaging modularities.
Various Imaging Modes
The fast analog PMT detector can be paired with the SPARC for large-scale imaging purposes. Through the use of this detector, rapid inspection of large areas can be achieved, which is crucial for geological applications. In addition, both rapid device inspection and highly efficient region-of-interest finding capabilities are achieved by the PMT detector. A filter wheel can also be paired with the PMT detector when spectral differentiation must be performed.
Angle-Resolved Cathodoluminescence Spectroscopy
The SPARC provides users with a unique option that allows for angle-resolved images to be acquired. Instead of focusing on the light single of a single fiber or narrow opening, the mirror’s image can instead be projected onto the imaging camera.
By incorporating this technique, otherwise known as momentum spectroscopy, users can accurately detect the direction of the emitted light. A filter wheel can also be incorporated into momentum spectroscopy to spectrally distinguish between the different emission wavelengths.
When the SPARC is used in its spectral mode, light that is reflected from the mirror is focused on a slit or fiber that is connected to a Czerny-Turner spectrograph. Several different imaging detectors can be used to analyze reflected light within the spectral range of 200 to 1600 nm. Since the e-beam is scanned across the sample, the SPARC system can create spatially-resolved hyperspectral images.
The SPARC’s polarization system provides advanced correction capabilities by reconstructing the polarization state of CL for different emission angles. This polarization system, in its angle-resolved mode, achieves this reconstruction through the use of a paraboloid mirror.
Time-Resolved Cathodoluminescence Imaging
With a Lab Cube module, an add-on for the standard SPARC spectral system, it is now possible to perform g(2) and lifetime imaging and observe the time dynamics of a range of nanomaterials.
Time-resolved imaging is highly relevant for various applications, including semiconductors for photovoltaics and light-emitting devices, as well as single emitters for quantum information processing and sensing.
About the ODEMIS Software
The ODEMIS software package can be used with any Delmic microscopes to perform analysis of imaging workflows. When this open-source acquisition software is combined with the modular approach of these microscopes, a unique, versatile and user-friendly solution that serves a diverse user base is achieved.
ODEMIS Software Features
The ODEMIS software offers a wide variety of powerful tools that are capable of improving imaging workflow processes. Of these tools include peak fitting, immediate polar plotting, export functionality and drift collection. Expert users can also benefit from the Python’s scripting interface by acquiring full control of the hardware and imaging algorithms.
High-Performance Cathodoluminescence Detection System
Zircon imaged with SEM cathodoluminescence
PMT image of quartz in sandstone
PMT intensity image of zircon grains. Samples courtesy of Prof. Jens Jahren, University of Oslo
Automated alignment photon yield
SPARC SEM cathodoluminescence imaging
Fast-intensity mapping SEM cathodoluminescence
Angle-resolved SEM cathodoluminescence spectroscopy
Hyperspectral SEM cathodoluminescence imaging
SEM cathodoluminescence polarimetry
Time-resolved cathodoluminescence imaging